TRAIN bills for staff working on the controversial High Speed 2 rail project are costing £50,000 per week, we can reveal.
Travel costs for the under-fire HS2 project have topped £2.5million for the whole of last year, Ministers have revealed.
Overnight accommodation for employees staying away from home cost £600,000 in 2018 around £10,000 per week.
Records show eye-watering spending also includes £5.6 million on agency staff – the equivalent of a £120,000 annual salary.
The figures came to light this week after Ministers were said to be “actively considering” scrapping the HS2 scheme.
The PM has faced to calls to kill off the project that will cut travel times and boost capacity between the capital and Birmingham.
‘WASTE OF MONEY’
Treasury Minister Liz Truss said just last month that the government should “examine all major investment projects” and must be prepared to end “white elephant” schemes.
The project is expected to cost £56billion with annual costs reaching £4.2billion a year for the next decade. It is the largest infrastructure project in Europe and is supporting 7,000 jobs in 2,000 firms in the UK.
But Tory MP Dame Cheryl Gillan last night said the project amounted to a “waste of money – cancel it”.
She added: “The government needs to reprioritise its spending and infrastructure projects.
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The money could be better spent on existing railways along with improved broadband and 5G services.”
An HS2 spokesperson said: “HS2 is a project of national importance and scale. As such our people need to be able to attend consultation events and meet with people and organisations along the whole route from London to Scotland.
“We’re determined to deliver value for money for the taxpayer and keep a tight grip on costs.”